Replenishing the car show population at the Adesa Corvette and Specialty Car Sale
Car shows are great, but do you ever wonder where people get all those old cars? Sometimes they pick them up at a classic car auction, like the Corvette and Specialty Car Sale that was recently held at the Adesa Kansas City Auction in Belton, Mo. Normally, this sprawling facility is used to sell late model factory and rental cars to dealers, but once or twice a year they open it up to this exciting event.
Here’s an ’89 IROC convertible that I would have been happy to own. This one only had 37,000 miles, and you could tell at first glance that it had been well taken care of. These ASC-converted convertibles were exceptional in their day, with a fit and finish that was unheard of just a few years earlier. Even today the top, headliner, and hinged boot appear modern and tidy. If you were around in the ‘80s, you remember that these IROCs were the Camaro to have. I still think they’re pretty cool.
This ’64 El Camino was pretty cool too. It was my favorite color, black and red, and those redline tires and little hubcaps really set it off. In spite of the stock appearance, it was sort of a custom. A 327 small block was the biggest engine you could get in one of these in 1964, but this one had a big block that looked like a convincing factory-installed 396. The only thing I didn’t really like was the floor-mounted automatic gear shifter, but if I was the guy that bought it, that would be replaced by a four-speed anyway.
I have actually seen this ’51 Mercury at various car cruises around town, but here it was offered for sale. This is a very mild custom, with lots of finned hop-up parts on the Ford flathead, exhaust dumps, and ’57 Cadillac hubcaps. It’s a really nice old car, and the mods are top-notch. Whether the car sold or not, I hope this isn’t the last time we see it around town.
Corvettes were a major part of this sale, and they don’t get much prettier than this Nassau blue ’65 convertible. This is one of those that you would really enjoy driving, because it had all the modern conveniences—factory air, power steering, and Powerglide transmission. But the best part was the interior, with that white leather and those blue carpets. This car was just so attractive I can’t stand it.
This is a very nice ’58 Ford Skyliner, or “Retractable” as most people like to call them. There are a few modern convertibles out there now that have folding hardtops, but this was a pretty big deal in the 1950s. And unlike today’s designs, Ford didn’t jack up the proportions of the car by adding this feature. Well, I guess that’s true—I don’t think I’ve ever seen one that the top wasn’t in this half-up, half-down position. This one got bid up to $30,000, which was understandably not enough for the seller to part with it.
My dad really seemed to gravitate toward this ’65 Impala SS—so much so that he convinced me to sit in it. I know part of the reason he liked it so much is that he had one very similar many years ago. But I have to admit, these really are great from behind the wheel. They just have such nice, airy interiors. This one even had a four-speed, a 396, and other desirable goodies. Red-over-red never hurt anything either, although those wheels wouldn’t make it long if this was in my garage.